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Music Notes from Denise, June 30, 2024

This Sunday we will discover David’s sense of hope out of despair in Psalm 130: I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him; in his word is my hope…O Israel, wait for the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy. We will also read the story of when Jesus healed Jairus’s daughter in Mark 5 and we again recognize where hope can be found.

 

Our Processional hymn will be another Charles Wesley hymn: O for a thousand tongues to sing. Written to celebrate the one year anniversary of Charles’ conversion to Christianity, this declaration of Christ’s power and victory in his own life, rich in Biblical imagery of the Kingdom of God, becomes our own hymn of praise. The reference to Revelation is not accidental. The hymn is rich in imagery of the Kingdom of God, both now and in the new heaven and earth. The text speaks of the power of Christ to heal, to forgive sins, to comfort, and to make us new and clean. As such, it acts both as a declaration of what Christ has already done in us, and as a reminder of the hope we have in what is yet to come. We proclaim Christ’s victory as a declaration of hope that we will see Christ reign over all. We stand with the voiceless, the lame, the prisoner, and the sorrowing, and lift our song of expectation. (hymnary.org)

 

Our Sequence hymn was written by Frances Havergal in 1874, Take my life, and let it be. She described the events that inspired the writing of this hymn: “I went for a little visit of five days. There were ten persons in the house, some unconverted and long prayed for; some converted, but not rejoicing Christians. He gave me the prayer: ‘Lord, give me all in this house.’ And He just DID! Before I left the house everyone had got a blessing. I was too happy to sleep, and passed most of the night in praise and renewal of my own consecration; and these little couplets formed themselves and chimed in my heart one after another till they finished with ‘ever, only, all for Thee’” (Lutheran Hymnal Handbook, 486). Each verse offers a different part of ourselves for the purposes of God – our life, our hands, our voice, our money, our wills, and our love. It is a beautiful prayer that God would both draw us closer and use us to bring others along. God calls us to a life of discipleship, and we respond, “Here am I. Send me.” (hymnary.org)

 

The Offertory will be sung and played by returning students from Parkway Central High School. Mars Kavadlo is a senior and will sing a duet with Elle Wujcik who is a junior. Charlotte Elsensohn will play the sound of the bird on her flute! The song, The Lone, Wild Bird, was arranged by Jessica Nelson in 2022 for St Andrews’s Episcopal Cathedral in Jackson, Mississippi where she serves as Music Director. In 2015, she was appointed to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of the Episcopal Church in the U. S. and also serves on the board of the Leadership Program for Musicians. This text was written by Rev. Henry McFadyen to the Southern Harmony hymn tune Prospect. The words are: The lone, wild bird in lofty flight, is still with thee, nor leaves thy sight, and I am thine, I rest in thee, Great Spirit, come, and rest in me. The ends of Earth are in thy hand, the sea’s dark deep, and far-off land. And I am thine, I rest in thee, Great Spirit, come, and rest in me. (St James Music Press License #11394)

 

During Communion, we will have another song written by Gracia Grindal, There was Jesus by the water. It describes the account of Jesus raising Jairus’s daughter from the dead interwoven with healing events in our Gospel reading in Mark 5. In this reading Jesus says in Aramaic, Talitha cum, which means “Little girl, get up!” This is the tune name chosen by composer Rusty Edwards who wrote the melody for the text in 1983. (Marilyn Haskel & Lisa Neufeld Thomas; 2004 Voices Found hymnal supplement, Church Publishing Inc.)

 

Our final hymn is a new one, Diverse in culture, nation, race sung to an ancient but familiar tune, Tallis Canon. It was written in 1992 by Ruth C. Duck (b. 1947) who served as a professor of worship at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. She has written several hymns, and this one calls for hope in today’s church community. “A church that does not broaden its outreach beyond the walls of its worship space is doomed for closure…This hymn is Ruth Duck’s manifesto for a church that is more inclusive, more welcoming, and that practices radical hospitality…The first stanza speaks of a church that is a gathering of many peoples of different backgrounds in one place…The second stanza encourages God’s people to relate to others with compassion…The third stanza recognizes elements in society that inhibit the building of community…The final stanza brings forth the feast for everyone.” (Daniel Dangca; History of Hymns; umcdiscipleship.org)

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